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Trade Shows & Events

Customer appreciation parties in full swing for ROTY winners…will your store be next?

Customer appreciation parties are a great thing, and we've already held two -- one at Appalachian Outdoor and the other at Great Outdoor Provision -- with four more to go. Will your store be next? Only if you are a Retailer of the Year winner in 2011 -- find out how to get your store nominated here!

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When an award is won, it’s time to celebrate! This is why we pulled out all the stops to host a customer appreciation party for each of our 2010 SNEWS®/Backpacker Retailer of the Year award winners. The parties are already in full swing and will continue until every winning store has had the chance to party down with its customers.

“Customers are impressed with the award as it is a national one. They are accustomed to press and awards for state and local entities we help,” said Tom Valone, owner and president of Great Outdoor Provision, winner of the 2010 Retailer of the Year Best in Conservation award. “From my seat as founder and president, I think that such recognition is public affirmation of the value of what we do every day. The staff recognizes that they are part of something greater than themselves, and greater than a simple retail operation. The good works that are required to be recognized are important in their own right, and one of my goals for Great Outdoor Provision Co. Such recognition is important as a company grows; it reiterates an important part of our mission.”

If that isn’t reason enough to party, we don’t know what is. The Customer Appreciation parties, which include raffle prizes provided by the 2010 Retailer of the Year sponsors, Horny Toad, Klean Kanteen and Nikwax, as well as food, drink, more free product giveaways, and frequently live music, are just another way for retailers to thank their customers for their support…support and loyalty clearly vital in winning a Retailer of the Year award. But the award is also a great boost and reason to party for the store staff, too.

“Since the award was announced, we’ve gotten a lot of congratulatory messages and comments from people all over town wherever we go,” said Geoff Brugler, owner of Appalachian Outdoors, winner of the 2010 Retailer of the Year Growth of Outdoor Sports award. “The award and event has been very good for staff morale, which has resulted in an increased level of motivation and ownership of our business. Several people have taken more initiative and shown more creativity in their daily work and in developing our promotions and operational procedures.”

Added Brugler, “The SNEWS and Backpacker team who traveled to help host the Retailer of the Year award party did a great job of greeting customers and providing information, and were very enthusiastic and interacted well with staff and shoppers.”

SNEWS and Backpacker would love to hold a customer appreciation party in your store in 2011 to help you celebrate being recognized as one of the best outdoor retailers in the United States. Do you think your store is worthy? Do your customers? No one wins unless they are nominated, so get busy today by having your staff, your customers, your reps, anyone you can think of, nominate you at . There is NO limit on the number of nominations a store can receive — the more, the merrier.

One retailer will be awarded the title “Retailer of the Year,” and six others will be honored as best-in-class in each of the following categories: Sustainable Business, Community, Youth Involvement, Growth of Outdoor Sports, Conservation, and Best Online Retailer. In all categories, winning retailers must display exemplary efforts in customer loyalty and service, employee training and retention, as well as demonstrate excellent merchandising skills.

Retailer of the Year winners will be announced at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011 during a special ceremony, and each winner will receive a plaque suitable for public display in a store so winners can promote their accomplishment. Click here to read the SNEWS story highlighting the 2010 Retailer of the Year award winners.

In addition to a fantastic customer appreciation party, each retailer will receive:

  • A store profile in a Retailer of the Year Showcase on
  • Prominent mention in a Retailer of the Year feature in Backpacker’s Gear Guide.
  • A digital image of the SNEWS/Backpacker Retailer of the Year logo suitable for use as a window decal, award recognition on all letterhead, brochures and other store publications, and display on a website.

Entry Deadline: Oct. 1, 2010

Nominate your favorite retailer today.… Heck, nominate yourself if you think you’re worthy. Just click on the ROTY 2011 logo to the right to enter.

Great Outdoor Provision (left to right): Chris Murphy, Bill Mulvey, Chuck Millsaps, John Millsaps, Chris Armstrong, Bob Sears, Tammy Harvey, Matthew Von Fossen, Travis Zarins, Riley Wilkins, Molly Kelley, Amy Quinn, Jason Wilson, Jim Covney, Trent Gustafson, Robin Hannon, Debbie Mulvey, John Fritz

Appalachian Outdoors (left to right): Cameron Sungail, Dipak Sahoo, Michael Clark, John Hopkins, Brandon Coulter, Devon Jacobs, Justin Penfield, Sarah Motter, David Alleman, Kimberly Holm, Paul Wagner

–Michael Hodgson